There’s (almost) no such thing as a free lunch….

25 Sep

So, here we are, back in Spain. The sun is shining, the horrible hot wind we get in southern Spain (El Terral) has finally died down and we’ve caught our breath from the long drive.  We’re very lucky to have two lovely homes, but when you get back to a house that has been shut up for a few months, you find that the dust monsters have been to visit. We managed avoidance tactics for a few days with a combination of going out to catch up with people, and staying in feeling grumpy and full of cold (me)/Man Flu (Big Man) germs.

Finally the day came when we couldn’t ignore The Big Clean Up any more and today we made a start. Mrs and Mrs Mop began a vaguely systematic attack on the house and garden and, while there is still plenty more to be done, we felt satisfied that we deserved a nice lunch in the garden. Spring and autumn are perfect for outdoor lunchtime dining. Sometimes you get a lovely warm day in winter or a cool summer day which also permit al fresco lunches…but you definitely make the most of those perfect days.

In Spanish terms, it was almost dangerously vegetarian (well, apart from the seafood and salami). We didn’t worry, the village fiesta is upon us and we know we’ll be eating our own body weight in grilled meat and pinchitos (little kebabs) over the next few days. What did make us smile was the fact that pretty much everything we were eating had been gifted to us by kindly friends and family, or recycled from another meal. It’s good to be a frugal houseperson when the food is this good!

Lunch included:

Salmorejo (my very favourite cold soup) made from stale bread and tomatoes given to us by kindly brother-in-law. These are the ripe and ugly tomatoes which are used for soups and sauces

Almuerzo Sep 2015 (12)

Garnished with hard boiled eggs from kindly neighbour who adopted our chickens and jamon (bought from local butcher)

Salad made with leftover prawns and squid which had been barbecued the night before and avocados from kindly neighbour who also keeps us supplied with oranges later in the year to make marmalade.

Almuerzo Sep 2015 (10)

Tomato, mint and onion salad made with “tomates para picar” (tomatoes for chopping up!), again from kindly brother-in-law and mint from our garden.

Almuerzo Sep 2015 (9)

Salads dressed with our own olive oil and juice from our lemons

Almuerzo Sep 2015 (11)

Cheese and salchichon (salami). Salchichon given to us by kindly local bar owner as a welcome home present.

Apple Sorbet 003

Dessert was figs from our tree and apple sorbet made with apples from kindly cousin. Inspired by Rosemary’s ice cream making, I dug out my own ice-cream maker. To serve 2 people – 500g apples (peeled and cored), cooked with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice then blended, cooled and churned in my machine. Maybe I should make more Apple Roses – I certainly have enough fruit!

Almuerzo Sep 2015 (17)

I drank a glass (or two) of Spanish wine, but Big Man was clearly feeling a bit nostalgic for England and opened a bottle of English beer.

Almuerzo Sep 2015 (14)

I thought we’d bought those beers with us as gifts for kindly friends and family. Ooops!

Almuerzo Sep 2015 (8)

PS. You know we hate waste here….the prawn shells are now bubbling away to make stock…maybe we’ll have an “arroz caldoso” in the next few days…


55 Responses to “There’s (almost) no such thing as a free lunch….”

  1. cookinginsens September 25, 2015 at 18:21 #

    What a wonderful meal! I can just taste that sorbet 🙂

  2. Mad Dog September 25, 2015 at 18:45 #

    How fantastic – I notice you’ve got some jamón in the salmoreco as seasoning – that’ll keep the Inquisition away 😉
    I had a lovely lunch on a rooftop off Oxford Street with a vegetarian friend recently. The salad was topped with sardines and little pieces of chorizo. When I asked if she was still vegetarian, she said that the chorizo was just flavouring! She’s English, but must have some Spanish in there somewhere…

    • Chica Andaluza September 25, 2015 at 19:09 #

      I don’t even mention jamón anymore when I talk about meat – they offer it to vegetarians in a tortilla here as the meat free option! Did chuckle at your friend’s attitude to the chorizo – definitely a Spanish approach there!

      • Mad Dog September 25, 2015 at 19:17 #

        I bought some salsa brava in a Spanish supermarket and even that contained some kind of meat stock 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza September 26, 2015 at 22:32 #

        Classic – jamon or chicken for the vegetarians 😉

      • Mad Dog September 26, 2015 at 23:54 #

        They appreciate tortilla with the potatoes fried in goose fat too 😉

      • Chica Andaluza September 28, 2015 at 11:28 #

        Ha ha (or ja ja as they say here)!!

  3. restlessjo September 25, 2015 at 20:16 #

    I only tried salmorejo once and I really loved it. It must be lovely to do swaps like this with the neighbours, Tanya. 🙂 I bought some fresh figs in Aldi today but I doubt they’ll have much flavour.

    • Chica Andaluza September 25, 2015 at 22:56 #

      I think figs are so fragile and ripen very quickly after being picked (if they’re not ripe when you pick them) so to get them all the way to England in perfect condition is a tough thing to do L If they’re a bit sad, have a Roman breakfast and eat them with focaccia, olive oil and coarse salt – you’ll be amazed!

      • restlessjo September 26, 2015 at 00:37 #

        Thanks for the tip 🙂

  4. themateriallady September 25, 2015 at 22:08 #

    All very tasty as well as frugal.

  5. narf77 September 25, 2015 at 22:55 #

    Flamboyant, frugal and fantastic just like YOU Ms Chica! Here’s hoping the lurgy slinks off to a corner someplace and lets you explore your late season Spanishness sans sick. I had to laugh when I saw the bit about the salami gift. Seems you have been missed at the pub eh? Profits went down significantly when you departed to Auld Blighty methinks ;). Enjoy the HECK out of those figs, tomatoes and all of that gorgeous soul food. It will do wonders for your current desire to clean the house (i.e. you will be too busy eating glorious food to notice the dust bunnies 😉 ).

    • Chica Andaluza September 26, 2015 at 09:02 #

      I had to laugh at your comment about the gift from the pub – I suspect there may be some truth in it! I like your style – enjoy the food and therefore become too busy to clean J Sounds like a life plan to me!

  6. Saiful Bahri September 26, 2015 at 03:26 #

    delicious and cheap it sounds very interesting , but it is also a necessary ingredient is very easy to be found in supermarkets and even in markets though.
    the menu is delicious and cheap and that certainly will not drain the wallet is amazing Mrs.Chica every writing is always impressed me amazed 😀

  7. Tandy | Lavender and Lime September 26, 2015 at 06:49 #

    I’m sure that my invitation to this amazing feast got lost in the mail 😉

    • Chica Andaluza September 26, 2015 at 09:01 #

      😉 We have a notoriously unreliable mail system in Spain Tandy!

  8. ifyourenotontheroad September 26, 2015 at 11:24 #

    Yummy feast and wonderful neighbours.

  9. thecompletebook September 26, 2015 at 15:29 #

    Oh PALEEZ let me come and live with you when my Pete is away – okay, maybe just every second trip, I need to keep my weight down just a little bit.
    Have a beautiful weekend Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. cathyandchucky September 27, 2015 at 01:30 #

    You are such an inspiration to me Chic! I’ve just planted my tomato seedlings and cannot wait for that real tomato taste of summer, not the hard cricket balls we get in the shops. My hubby won’t eat fresh tomato so they are all mine! Love your apple ice cream recipe to. I saw Nigel Slater make a lovely custard and apple version on tv once and have always wanted to replicate it. I hope both you and the big man are all better from your colds? Love from Albany, Western Australia xox Cathy.

    • Chica Andaluza October 2, 2015 at 20:26 #

      Hi Cathy and thanks for your kind words and good wishes! All recovered now and making the most of things here in Spain. Love the idea of apple and custard ice cream….yum! Good luck with the tomatoes, nothing beats home grown 🙂

  11. Gather and Graze September 27, 2015 at 09:56 #

    What a beautiful array of dishes Tanya! I’m envious for all the produce that you’ve grown or been given by kindly friends and family. Must be wonderful to be back in your Spanish home for a time… look forward to the posts to come. 🙂

  12. DianeT September 28, 2015 at 09:45 #

    Oh, I am soooo looking forward to summer. Those pictures just make me drool!

  13. Food,Photography & France September 28, 2015 at 12:08 #

    I think that is about the best lunch menu that I’ve seen all year….brilliant …glad to hear Spain is treating you so well:)

  14. Tortilla for tea September 28, 2015 at 12:43 #

    Salmorejo is my very favourite soup too! It just doesn’t taste the same in an English autumn – although it’s been so sunny and warm for the last few days, I might just about get away with it. Of course, we need some lovely ripe Spanish tomatoes to make it with too. The best way to eat figs is straight off the tree, when they’ve been warmed by the Andalucian sunshine!

    • Chica Andaluza September 28, 2015 at 12:56 #

      Oh I completely agree with both the salmorejo and figs!

  15. Amanda | What's Cooking September 28, 2015 at 20:32 #

    Bienvenido de regreso a Espana! How cool. What a wonderful meal. I love salmorejo and I love how you’re using the left over shells as a stock. The cheese and charcuterie look perfect. I hope you get rid of all of those germs soon so you can enjoy the new season and the collision of wonderful end of summer produce and fall wonderfulness. Enjoy!

    • Chica Andaluza September 28, 2015 at 21:53 #

      Muchisimas gracias Amanda – we are now germ free thankfully and enjoying all that our little corner of Spain has to offer!

  16. paket wisata murah September 29, 2015 at 04:35 #

    The menu is very well suited to be equipped as a picnic : + )apart easily made ​​also very simple

  17. Saiful Bahri September 29, 2015 at 08:41 #

    Wow this article interesting. This recipe the first time I saw. But it is quite tempting to try. Especially in Indonesia is now a very long summer. The menu is suitable to accompany the weather was very hot. Let us try

  18. Maulana Angga September 29, 2015 at 13:56 #

    You will be my inspiration chica. Thanks for sharingg

  19. GilangHP September 30, 2015 at 07:57 #

    Wow I just know this recipe but it has made me want to try
    really impressive chica 🙂

  20. The Seas Of Mintaka October 1, 2015 at 17:19 #

    So glad you’re back, Chica! You’re so lucky you get to go to England sometimes. I feel like going there, just for a change of airs of course. Not to live haha. I love living in Spain!

    • Chica Andaluza October 1, 2015 at 20:03 #

      At the moment we’re more in England than Spain – a few years ago it was the other way round. We are lucky that we have family, friends and homes in both places. We are blessed!

  21. Dety October 3, 2015 at 02:42 #

    Looks so delicious … I hope someday I can visit there to try the delicious and healthy food. I am from Indonesia, do you like Indonesian food?

    • Chica Andaluza October 3, 2015 at 15:04 #

      I do like Indonesian food – I really should make it more often!

      • Dety October 7, 2015 at 01:53 #

        really? what do you like indonesian food? sate, gado-gado, soto, or rendang?

      • Chica Andaluza October 7, 2015 at 10:40 #

        I especially love rendang but I enjoy it all!

  22. Raden October 4, 2015 at 02:47 #

    seemed very tasty and frugal

  23. kaoskarakter October 9, 2015 at 22:36 #

    seemed very tasty and amazing, thanks for the article

  24. Saiful Bahri on wisata lombok October 10, 2015 at 05:46 #

    I really love the look Desserts da salad mixed with shrimp look very tasty and tempting

  25. Karen October 10, 2015 at 15:41 #

    Love your almost free lunch thanks to friends and family…especially made with so many fresh ingredients. Hope you are both feeling better.

  26. Burhan October 27, 2015 at 14:34 #

    i bet salmorejo is wonderful when we eat in the afternoon with ice tea for the drink

  27. The Chair's Antique November 2, 2015 at 03:18 #

    thanx for share

  28. Suci Purnamasari March 3, 2016 at 06:40 #

    the vegetables look fresh to eat haha

  29. Agung Caesar Budiawan March 7, 2016 at 12:30 #

    a healthy food is very good for your health

  30. jamsiherbaldiebetes July 13, 2016 at 08:50 #

    Very tasty food

  31. Rak Sepatu Gantung August 14, 2016 at 05:18 #

    what a fresh ingredient! its good for our health..

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